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11-07-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 17342
Reply to: 17342
Tritium Turntables
fiogf49gjkf0d

A site visitor sent me email today:

"Just in case you have not seen the turntables we have manufactured for about 15 years.

www.beercityaudio.com "

Ended the company looks like has two Turntables:

http://www.beercityaudio.com/index.php/tritium-air-bearing-brass-phono-turntable-record-player.html

http://www.beercityaudio.com/index.php/tritium-moving-coil-lp-record-air-bearing-tonearm-turntable.html

I never seen or heard about them but they are look interesting. The largest TT has negative curve of platter. Only god in his wisdom knows why not all high level TTs uses this principle. The site is kind of flimsy and the information about the TT is very limited.  If they use copper then the platters are heavy. It is not bad itself but how do they hoist the heavy platters on bearing. The classic ball bearing will not be effective for 100 points platter and I do not see them to use air, magnets or anything else. I hope they at least to lift the platter from the bearing while it is not speaking…..

Anyhow, it looks like an “unknown” TT. If it is true that it being made for 15 years then the company owner does not perform the ceremonial blow-job to the industry – that is god as well…

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-07-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,104
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 17344
Reply to: 17342
It Says "Air Bearing"...
fiogf49gjkf0d
Shades of the great-for-5-minutes Versa Dynamics, which spawned a thriving "underground" "support" industry aimed at addressing several frustrating problems that plagued the nearly-wonderful contraption.  I can't tell if the drive belt on this thing is flat or round (better if flat, IMO...), but it is too long by half, and this seems to bother them not at all.  Also, I am always suspicious of the super-short vertical-pivot-to-stylus length, not to mention the Living Hell of all that air under-and-being-released-from pressure all over the place.  Not that the Walker is really good, practically speaking; but how is this one better than the Walker?  (Of course I mean the latest, improved version...)

Paul S
11-08-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 3
Post ID: 17345
Reply to: 17344
If does not say "Air Bearing".
fiogf49gjkf0d
I mean the way how they call their turntable is absolutely irrelevant, they can call it antigravity bearing but it does not mean anything. They do state that the turntable has air-suspended tonearm; which is fine and common for liner arms. They however did not explicitly state that the platter is air-suspended. I could not believe that people would make air-suspended platter and do not explicitly say about it. They say that “Platter assembly has suspended on a Brass/Bronze ball bearing and nylon thrust pad for smooth operation”. So, it does have the ball bearing but it is absolutely not know if that ball bearing used for juts holding the platter of it cares the whole platter mass during the rotation. All air- bearing turntable have some kind of conventional bearing in there but this bearing is irrelevant as when air  come in the air-pressure lift the platter up and the bearing become disengaged. So, it is very much not know if air in this TT used under platter, I would presume that it is not as they stress the “nylon thrust pad for smooth operation”. If the bearing is used only during the non-spinning then they would not care about the “smooth operation” of their platter. Also, suspect that the platter is not so heavy, curved inside and most likely 20-30 pounds. With higher mass the allegedly used ball bearing will because a liability. Also, it is common that if people have high mass then they specify the weight of at least the moment of inertia of platter. If a company, like “American Sound” states that the platter is 85 pounds then it is it, all bets are off and everyone know what it means. I do not believe that company would invested efforts into making the platter heavy and failed to mention about it.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-30-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
mem916
San Diego, CA
Posts 52
Joined on 10-14-2011

Post #: 4
Post ID: 17447
Reply to: 17344
Not much in common with a versa
fiogf49gjkf0d

No vacuum hold-down.  No suspension. Air-bearing tonearm, but the other way around (ie air is forced through the steel shaft).  I reckon Bicht would laugh at this table.  By the way, if there is an "underground support industry" for the Versa I am unaware of it and wouldn't trust it if it exists.  There is support available still from VersLab (http://www.versalab.com/server/versadyn/players1.html).

 Paul S wrote:
Shades of the great-for-5-minutes Versa Dynamics, which spawned a thriving "underground" "support" industry aimed at addressing several frustrating problems that plagued the nearly-wonderful contraption.  I can't tell if the drive belt on this thing is flat or round (better if flat, IMO...), but it is too long by half, and this seems to bother them not at all.  Also, I am always suspicious of the super-short vertical-pivot-to-stylus length, not to mention the Living Hell of all that air under-and-being-released-from pressure all over the place.  Not that the Walker is really good, practically speaking; but how is this one better than the Walker?  (Of course I mean the latest, improved version...)

Paul S
11-30-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 17448
Reply to: 17447
Not so fast.
fiogf49gjkf0d
 mem916 wrote:
No vacuum hold-down.  No suspension. Air-bearing tonearm, but the other way around (ie air is forced through the steel shaft).  I reckon Bicht would laugh at this table.  By the way, if there is an "underground support industry" for the Versa I am unaware of it and wouldn't trust it if it exists.  There is support available still from VersLab (http://www.versalab.com/server/versadyn/players1.html).

I do not know anything about Versa TT.  I spoke with Tritium TT maker (about different subject) and he told me that various platter mass are available for his TT, including 100 pounds platter. Still, as mem916 point out: there is “no suspension”. How long ball suspension will last with 100 pounds platter only god knows. In another side – the “contact” type suspension in my estimation might provide the best bass. Well, since no one use or even seen the Tritium TT is it hard to predict anything. I would not absolutely agree with “no vacuum hold-down” critique. The vacuum hold-down is a controversial feature. BTW, the negative curve of platter that Tritium is way more interesting in my view.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-30-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,104
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 6
Post ID: 17449
Reply to: 17448
Design Options
fiogf49gjkf0d
Of course "the bearing" under a 100 lb. platter might be designed to last 100 years in that application, but I faintly recall something about a plastic thrust block, or something along those lines...  Anyone ready to pony up for the 100 lb. platter option might want to learn more about its bearing(s) and drive arrangements.

Among after-market things for the Versa was a system of tanks, hoses and filters designed to deal with the moisture and variable pressure that beset the original system, and there were also various after market pumps, and blimps for the pumps.  I had no idea that Versa was still at it, nor have I kept up with their after-market camp followers. It might be twisted fun to play with a 2.0; but I suppose they are still rare and too expensive for a happy cost/benefit experience...

Paul S 
11-30-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
mem916
San Diego, CA
Posts 52
Joined on 10-14-2011

Post #: 7
Post ID: 17450
Reply to: 17448
Suspension of disbelief
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Romy the Cat wrote:


I do not know anything about Versa TT.  I spoke with Tritium TT maker (about different subject) and he told me that various platter mass are available for his TT, including 100 pounds platter. Still, as mem916 point out: there is “no suspension”. How long ball suspension will last with 100 pounds platter only god knows. In another side – the “contact” type suspension in my estimation might provide the best bass. Well, since no one use or even seen the Tritium TT is it hard to predict anything. I would not absolutely agree with “no vacuum hold-down” critique. The vacuum hold-down is a controversial feature. BTW, the negative curve of platter that Tritium is way more interesting in my view.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


Oh, by suspension, I meant the tuned spring suspension that the versa (and many other 'tables) use to isolate the plinth platter, and arm from vibrations coming up through the floor and the stand.  I don't think of a platter bearing as providing any sort of vibration isolation so I don't think of it as a suspension.  In general I was pointing out the many differences between the two record players. I know vacuum hold-down has some controversy.  Naturally the manufacturers that offer it will say it is great and the ones that don't will say it is terrible.  For my versa 1.2 I can easily adjust the amount of vacuum applied and the more I apply the better it sounds.   By "negative curve" I guess you mean the platter is slightly dished?  The Well Tempered turntable used that design.  It does work well, but not as good as vacuum in my experience.

Mark
11-30-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
mem916
San Diego, CA
Posts 52
Joined on 10-14-2011

Post #: 8
Post ID: 17451
Reply to: 17449
Versa
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Paul S wrote:
...

Among after-market things for the Versa was a system of tanks, hoses and filters designed to deal with the moisture and variable pressure that beset the original system, and there were also various after market pumps, and blimps for the pumps.  I had no idea that Versa was still at it, nor have I kept up with their after-market camp followers. It might be twisted fun to play with a 2.0; but I suppose they are still rare and too expensive for a happy cost/benefit experience...

Paul S 

I think it is possible to miss-adjust the pressure regulation such that there is not enough pressure drop to separate the water out of the air before it reaches the arm.  People were going for higher pressure at the arm (because it sounds better) but by doing that they were running the pump wide open or too close to wide open to allow the water to condense out at the filter bowl.  I have never had any water show up at the arm of my 1.2. 

Versa came up with an upgrade kit early on with a surge tank, damping pots for the spring suspension, some mods to the control box etc.  Then later he published plans for a major upgrade involving a much better pump and some more mods to the control box.  I paid something like $3500 for my 1.2 including the stand.  Even with the parts and the cost of the plans I don't think I have more than $5K in it.  Compared to the price of the Walker and this Tritium thing it is an amazing bargain.  I have never heard a 2.0 but some guy was selling a pair of 2.3s (looks like it has the latest package of upgrades) on Audiogon for $14900.  It's not clear from his ad if that is the price for the pair but if it is it is a pretty good deal although $10k would be more realistic since you would want to build a good stand similar to the versa stand for it.   Still.... 2 of them for way less than the price of one Tritium.


11-30-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 9
Post ID: 17452
Reply to: 17450
Suspension and vacuum hold-down
fiogf49gjkf0d
 mem916 wrote:
Oh, by suspension, I meant the tuned spring suspension that the versa (and many other 'tables) use to isolate the plinth platter, and arm from vibrations coming up through the floor and the stand. I don't think of a platter bearing as providing any sort of vibration isolation so I don't think of it as a suspension. 
  
I see, we did misunderstand each other.  By suspension I meant, and always mean the way how platter is handing in its position: ball bearing, air, magnetic, liquid, superconductor antigravity, unobtainium … etc. I never pay attention to suspension of plinth and isolate it from floor and I feel that this is not TT duty, at least not a part of high-end turntables.  I do not insist that my definition of “suspension” is accurate but this is how I use it for years: for me suspension is how platter is suspended, not plinth.  
 mem916 wrote:
In general I was pointing out the many differences between the two record players. I know vacuum hold-down has some controversy.  Naturally the manufacturers that offer it will say it is great and the ones that don't will say it is terrible.  For my versa 1.2 I can easily adjust the amount of vacuum applied and the more I apply the better it sounds.   By "negative curve" I guess you mean the platter is slightly dished?  The Well Tempered turntable used that design.  It does work well, but not as good as vacuum in my experience.

I had the vacuum hold-down, Micro Seiki RX- 1500FVG. The hold-down worked great but I did not really felt any need for it. I hardly ever use warped records. I feel that the benefit of vacuum hold-down is to establish with a uniform bund between platter and record. The fanny part is that the leaves of vacuum hold-down act as gaskets between the uniform bund. Anyhow, I was not too wild about is and I found it was not too practical, even on Micro the vacuum hold-down was made in the most friendly way I even seen. Adjusting the amount of vacuum applied to get better sounds? Well, do you do it for each record? There are half of hundreds of records type, different thinness, mass, flexibility est. Do you set own depth of vacuum for each record you play? I do not adjust VTA when I play different record thinness. I assure you that move VTA from Dynaflex to 180g and I assure you that the sonic difference in VTA 100x time more than changing the depth of vacuum. Sure, I would not argue and it you see the improvement (not difference but improvement) than it certainly a way to go for you but it appears too anal retentive for me, at least in context of dally use. The changing pressure I feed my Vibroplane and to change the Vibroplane height also makes some difference in sound. However, I recognize those differences as something that is well beyond of my interest 

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-30-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
mem916
San Diego, CA
Posts 52
Joined on 10-14-2011

Post #: 10
Post ID: 17453
Reply to: 17452
Gotcha
fiogf49gjkf0d
OK, I understand now when you talk about suspension and will translate to "bearing".  I don't know if it needs to be the turntable or the stand but something needs to be responsible for isolation.  I have heard good things about the vibraplane and would certainly use one if I didn't have isolation built into my turntable already and a good stand.

No I didn't meant to imply that I adjust the vacuum level for each record, only that "more is better".  My compressor wore out and was not producing as much suction as it did when it was new.  I ordered the rebuild kit from the manufacturer and sure enough it sounded better to me after rebuilding.  To confirm I reduced the vacuum and it sounded worse, so I cranked it back up and left it that way.  I'm not big on doing any adjustments for each record I play.  I only fiddle with things when there is an obvious problem that needs to be solved or I am curious.  I don't play many warped records either.  I think the improvement in sound comes from reducing resonances in the vinyl by making a very firm (on the order of 500 kgs of force) bond between the LP and the dead platter.  It is very noticeable when I thump the record with my fingernail.  With the vacuum on it sounds like I am thumping a block of lead. Of course I have no clamp so when the vacuum is off it is much looser than a table that at least has a clamp.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
 mem916 wrote:
Oh, by suspension, I meant the tuned spring suspension that the versa (and many other 'tables) use to isolate the plinth platter, and arm from vibrations coming up through the floor and the stand. I don't think of a platter bearing as providing any sort of vibration isolation so I don't think of it as a suspension. 
  
I see, we did misunderstand each other.  By suspension I meant, and always mean the way how platter is handing in its position: ball bearing, air, magnetic, liquid, superconductor antigravity, unobtainium … etc. I never pay attention to suspension of plinth and isolate it from floor and I feel that this is not TT duty, at least not a part of high-end turntables.  I do not insist that my definition of “suspension” is accurate but this is how I use it for years: for me suspension is how platter is suspended, not plinth.  
 mem916 wrote:
In general I was pointing out the many differences between the two record players. I know vacuum hold-down has some controversy.  Naturally the manufacturers that offer it will say it is great and the ones that don't will say it is terrible.  For my versa 1.2 I can easily adjust the amount of vacuum applied and the more I apply the better it sounds.   By "negative curve" I guess you mean the platter is slightly dished?  The Well Tempered turntable used that design.  It does work well, but not as good as vacuum in my experience.

I had the vacuum hold-down, Micro Seiki RX- 1500FVG. The hold-down worked great but I did not really felt any need for it. I hardly ever use warped records. I feel that the benefit of vacuum hold-down is to establish with a uniform bund between platter and record. The fanny part is that the leaves of vacuum hold-down act as gaskets between the uniform bund. Anyhow, I was not too wild about is and I found it was not too practical, even on Micro the vacuum hold-down was made in the most friendly way I even seen. Adjusting the amount of vacuum applied to get better sounds? Well, do you do it for each record? There are half of hundreds of records type, different thinness, mass, flexibility est. Do you set own depth of vacuum for each record you play? I do not adjust VTA when I play different record thinness. I assure you that move VTA from Dynaflex to 180g and I assure you that the sonic difference in VTA 100x time more than changing the depth of vacuum. Sure, I would not argue and it you see the improvement (not difference but improvement) than it certainly a way to go for you but it appears too anal retentive for me, at least in context of dally use. The changing pressure I feed my Vibroplane and to change the Vibroplane height also makes some difference in sound. However, I recognize those differences as something that is well beyond of my interest 

The Cat
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